I promised the staff I would not go all Masterpiece Theater with this intro, so I’ll be brief. Our Annual Report has reached its halfway point with our Top 50 Songs of the Year. The many flags of our staff are hoisted high — and we couldn’t be happier with what we’re saluting. From Cults’ very first song to Tom Waits’ thousandth song, we put up the tracks that left us with more thoughts, feelings, and impressions than any other. We think we done good.
But just to make sure the world still spins on its axis, let us know what you think we missed from our list and what you liked in the comments. We thrive on that stuff.
Additionally, we’ve got the de rigueur Top 50 Songs of the Year Spotify playlist for you, a quick link to purchase the song on Amazon, and an easy ctrl-c +ctrl-v list for you at the very end immediately following our #1 song of the year.
As always, our profuse thanks for reading, enjoy these tunes, and we’ll see you again next week for the second half of our 2011 Annual Report.
-Jeremy D. Larson
50. Ellie Goulding – “Lights”
At age 24, Ellie Goulding’s folktronica turned heads across the world, especially with “Lights”. Remixed from here to high heaven by killer producers, sampled by Lupe Fiasco for his latest mixtape, and dropped by DJs looking to get well-dressed girls on the dance floors from the Bay Area to Eastern Europe, its appeal lies in its honest vocals, minimalistic beats, and stark, raving energy. It’s Goulding’s first charting single in the U.S. and Canada, and judging from the widespread allure (and the thousands who camped near her stage at festivals nationwide), it likely won’t be her last. -Paul de Revere
49. Cults – “Go Outside”
Going from relative obscurity to indie stardom isn’t anything new, but the way Madelline Follin and Brian Oblivion of Cults did it with such New York coolness and style still seemed incredibly refreshing. By the time the mainstream caught wind of Follin’s adorably unique, helium-filled balloon voice, “Go Outside” was already a bona fide song of the summer contender. Its lyrics are like a mantra for anyone in a going-nowhere relationship, delivered in an irresistibly sweet, poppy tone. And how can you not dig that crazy glockenspiel solo? -Gilles LeBlanc
48. Big K.R.I.T. – “Country Shit” (Remix)
The original version of “Country Shit” showed up on last year’s K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, but this remix, featuring all-new bars from Ludacris and Bun B, goes harder in every way. Over a chopped and looped vocal sample and thunderous bass, K.R.I.T. delivers an unusually aggressive verse for “the folk in Texas that’s forever wreckin’ with the Styrofoam cup and the purple fluid.” This is a rave-up, no doubt, and it just might be the greatest Dixie rap get-together this side of “Int’l Players Anthem”. -Mike Madden